Immigration to the UK from eastern, central Europe increasing
14 June 2011
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Immigration to the UK from eastern and central Europe is on the rise. Under EU law nationals of European Union Countries can work freely in the UK. The UK Government is therefore unable to control levels of immigration from these Countries.
According to a UK National Statistics report, all of the top five Countries which are the cause of increasing immigration to the UK are from central and eastern Europe; These countries joining the EU in 2004 and 2007.
The number of Bulgarian immigrants coming to the UK has increased significantly since the country joined the EU in 2007, from 11,000 in 2004 to 53,000 in 2010.
The UK's population is expected to rise to 79 million and eventually become the European Union's most populous state, surpassing Germany.
Meanwhile, the UK is attempting to crackdown on immigration from outside the EU because it cannot restrict immigration to the UK for most EU member citizens.
However, its recent restrictions on non-EU skilled immigration and student immigration has drawn criticism from British business and education interests. They feel that restricting non-EU immigration will reduce the UK's global competitiveness and damage the UK's reputation as a top education provider.